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Red Hat lifts partner game

Red Hat lifts partner game

Open source software vendor invests in new systems and programs to drive channel enablement and recruitment

Red Hat is ramping up its partner efforts and calling for more recruits to broaden its presence in the market.

According to general manager, Max McLaren, about 80 per cent of the vendor’s business is through its four key channels: OEMs, distributors and traditional resellers, systems integrators and ISVs. He said bringing on more partners via its distributors, Ingram Micro and itX, as well as encouraging existing players to raise the bar and build up their skills, were key focuses this year.

Partner account manager, Paul Barge, highlighted ISVs as a particular area of growth. As part of ongoing efforts to build ISV relationships and capabilities, Red Hat launched a program last month providing localised marketing campaigns, online product catalogues, and tools to help application developers hook up with systems integrators and resellers.

More broadly, Red Hat is also working on improving its partner capabilities in-house.

“We want to be seen as the catalyst, and the leader in the market,” Barge said. “We are rolling out Salesforce.com internally as a way of providing leads and opportunities to our partners. We’ll also be using this facility to track marketing development funds, as well as provide a tool to do business plans.

“It’s about making our internal processes for partners more professional and automated and allows partners to spend more time selling, rather than on logistics.”

McLaren also cited strong growth in the number of certified business partners undertaking its sales-based training program. The vendor runs a Sales College to give partners access to the same sales training offered to internal employees and launched a promotional drive last year to encourage more to upskill.

“We now have 70 certified business partners enabled by using the same training material as Red Hat sales people,” McLaren said.

The rise in popularity of software-as-a-service and cloud computing, coupled with virtualisation, was paving the way for Linux adoption over the next few years, he said.


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